The Steam Deck was already considered one of the most popular pieces of gaming hardware this holiday season, but now Valve is taking a leaf from Nintendo’s book by releasing a new iteration with a larger OLED screen. The Steam Deck OLED will also get other improvements, including a slimmer form factor, improved controllers, longer battery life, and more. It will be available to order from November 16 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know before the Steam Deck OLED becomes available for purchase next week.
Steam Deck OLED availability and price
Although Valve hasn’t announced exactly when orders will ship, the November 16 “pre-order” date is essentially a launch date. The first orders should ship within days of release.
The Steam Deck OLED will be available in two different storage capacities: 512 GB and 1 TB. The 512GB and 1TB models are largely the same except for two key differences. The 1TB model is equipped with an anti-glare frosted glass screen; the 512 GB model does not have an anti-glare screen. Additionally, the 1TB model comes with a carrying case with a removable inner shell.
Valve is also releasing a limited edition 1TB model with a translucent black chassis and an exclusive version of the carrying case. The limited edition model will only be available in the United States and Canada, while the standard model will launch in all countries where Valve is currently accepting Steam Deck orders. Unsurprisingly, quantities of the limited edition are limited, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see scalpers snap up the limited edition model in a hurry.
Here is the price breakdown of the Steam Deck OLED:
- 512GB Steam OLED Platform — $549
- 1TB OLED Steam Deck — $649
- 1TB OLED Steam Deck, Limited Edition — $679
If you remember the original Steam Deck pricing model, you might be quite surprised by these low numbers. After all, the 512GB Steam Deck retailed for $649 at launch, which was $100 more than the cost of the upgraded OLED model.
Price drop for the original Steam Deck
Given the Steam Deck OLED’s relatively low price, it’s probably no surprise that the original trio of Steam Deck models are getting permanent price cuts. In fact, the discounted prices start today, November 9:
- 64 GB Steam Deck – $349 ($
- 256 GB Steam Deck – $399 ($
- 512 GB Steam Deck – $449 ($
Future Steam Deck owners now have a myriad of options. Obviously, the most notable price drop is the $200 drop on the 512GB Steam Deck. If you’re considering going with the standard Steam Deck due to the new prices, we recommend opting for at minus the 256GB model, as you’ll probably spend almost $400 total to equip a 64GB edition with a microSD card. -most people just can’t get by with 64 GB of space on Steam Deck.
Steam Deck OLED vs Steam Deck: Time to Upgrade?
Whether you’re a current Steam Deck owner considering an upgrade or a first-time buyer wondering which model to choose, it’s important to know the improvements offered in the new iteration to make an informed decision.
Of course, the Steam Deck OLED’s most notable selling point is, well, yes, the OLED screen. OLED displays offer better contrast, including deep blacks, a wider color gamut and improved brightness.
The Steam Deck OLED panel measures 7.4 inches, while the original Steam Deck had a 7-inch screen. Don’t forget that the 1TB models also get the added enhancement of an anti-glare etched glass display. In addition to a brighter, sharper visual experience, the Steam Deck OLED has a 90Hz refresh rate compared to the old panel’s 60Hz.
If you’re not one of those handheld enthusiasts who considered the Nintendo Switch OLED a huge upgrade over the LCD launch model, dual-use with the Steam Deck OLED may not seem appealing. However, there are other interesting changes that could have a huge impact.
Valve claims that the Steam Deck OLED’s battery life is 30-50% better than the original. This is a product from Valve using a 50Wh battery (the original had 40Wh), as well as more energy-efficient OLED panels, improved thermal efficiency, and other iterative improvements.
Current Steam Deck owners are certainly familiar with the handheld’s wide battery life range. This highly depends on the game you are playing. It’s possible to drain the battery in less than two hours, and it’s also possible for it to last around eight hours. As such, a 30-50% improvement will have an impact whether you’re playing a demanding AAA game or a small indie game that could run on a potato.
The weight of the Steam Deck OLED varies depending on which model you choose, according to Valve, but the Steam Deck OLED weighs an average of 640 grams compared to the original Steam Deck’s 669 grams. OLED panels are lighter and thinner, which allowed the new model to weigh less, even with a larger screen.
For a more in-depth look at the Steam Deck OLED, check out our story that digs deeper into the features.
Steam Deck Game Recommendations
If you end up purchasing a Steam Deck, you should take a look at our roundup of the best Steam Deck games. Additionally, GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb has curated a selection of recommended Steam Deck games that are available through Fanatical (another GameSpot sister site). As an added benefit, many games selected by Giant Bomb’s experts are on sale thanks to Fanatical’s Birthday Bash.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may receive a share of revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.